House Debate, Question Period, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada

The Canadian Franchise Association refused to accept a registered letter of complaint from Bulk Barn franchisees. When I tried to deliver it to the president of the CFA during the hearings in March, he returned the same letter. Today, I'm asking you if you would take a look at this letter and investigate the complaints of Bulk Barns and also investigate the actions of the CFA in this instance and how they stack up against the so-called code of ethics they keep talking about, both at the hearings and in an article today in the Globe and Mail.

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Legislative Assembly of Ontario
April 4, 2000

House Debate, Question Period
Oral Question
Tony Martin, MPP

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario
The Committee of the Whole
1st session, 37th Parliament
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

House Debates
Question Period

Tuesday 4 April 2000
Toronto, Ontario

ORAL QUESTION

CANADIAN FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION

Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): My question is for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Minister, the Canadian Franchise Association, a very influential adviser to you and your staff on Bill 33, claims to be committed to fairness in franchising. But there are hundreds of franchisees out there who dare to differ, who say in fact the opposite is true.

The Canadian Franchise Association refused to accept a registered letter of complaint from Bulk Barn franchisees. When I tried to deliver it to the president of the CFA during the hearings in March, he returned the same letter. Today, I'm asking you if you would take a look at this letter and investigate the complaints of Bulk Barns and also investigate the actions of the CFA in this instance and how they stack up against the so-called code of ethics they keep talking about, both at the hearings and in an article today in the Globe and Mail.

Hon Robert W. Runciman (Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations): I'm not aware of the specific concern the member raises, but I'll certainly be more than willing to take a look at the correspondence he has made reference to, follow up on it and get back to him in a timely way.

Mr Martin: I want to thank the minister for that commitment. You need to know, Minister, that there's a very troubling story brewing out there in Ontario. Today, we have with us in the gallery one Brenda Hope, a franchisee who has been treated terribly by a company called Chemwise. Her story was written up in the Toronto Star on the ides of March. The CFA has refused to look at her case. As a matter of fact, the CFA knew there was a problem with Chemwise a year ago and did nothing to correct it or to look into it so that people like Brenda Hope wouldn't become victims of that system and franchising here in Ontario. The CFA knows of her troubles. They know of troubles with a myriad of other systems in Ontario today.

Will you agree today to meet with Brenda Hope so that she might tell you her story and investigate her story, the Bulk Barn story that I presented to you by way of that registered letter and the Canadian Franchise Association so that-

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Order. I'm afraid the member's time is up, unfortunately. Minister.

Hon Mr Runciman: I acknowledge the member's interest in this issue and appreciate his hard work. It's regrettable that his party didn't have the same degree of interest in this issue that he clearly has. This is the first government to move on this issue, on this initiative, only the second government in Canada. In fact, our legislation, as I'm sure if he wants to be fair he would acknowledge, is stronger than the legislation in Alberta in terms of protecting franchisees.

Certainly if someone has a concern, I'd be more than happy to hear that concern and to address it as best we can. But I don't want anyone to have an impression from this discussion that this government has not been committed to introducing and passing legislation that's going to protect franchisees in this province.

This document is a verbatim copy of Hansard, the official record of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. To review the original transcript:
http://www.ontla.on.ca/hansard/house_debates/37_parl/session1/L036.htm#P358_76167

Copyright (c) 2000
Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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